Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Squelch Goes To Stanford

Thanks to Tom's tireless efforts, the immortal "Squelch Goes to Stanford" video has finally found its way online, where it will remain until a record company or clever computer program discovers it contains unlicensed music, which no doubt caused thousands of people to not buy a Beach Boys CD.

Of course, many readers of this blog have already seen this video, assisted in its creation or even appeared in it. For those who have not, some important context:

This was created in the fall of 2002 during my four-and-a-halfth year at Berkeley. We managed to find a use for it by playing it during the "Laugh Your Axe Off Comedy Night," a campus event conceived to combine the usually antithetical forces of school spirit and comedy.

The video actually does an okay job of establishing the Squelch as Berkeley's humor magazine and the Chapparal as the Stanford counterpart. What's not set up so well is our "undercover" conceit, whereby we pose as Stanford students by repeatedly claiming to be Stanford students while distributing our humor magazine on their campus (Actually, we just wanted to unload a bunch of extra issues and had long thought that it would be fun to do so on the Chapparal's turf).

Another important piece of context is that 2002 would be the year in which Cal's football team, under the tutelage of new coach Jeff Tedford, would win its first Big Game against Stanford in something like a million years. This would end a losing streak that was longer than any current student could remember, a losing streak that somehow coincided with the school's refusal to fire coach Tom Holmoe, year after degrading year. Given the virulent Stanford-hate on the Berkeley campus, testing the spirit of the other side was an eye-opening exercise.

Anyway, if you like watching smug jerks with a camera attempt to make fools out of perfectly nice, unsuspecting people through obnoxious behavior and unfair editing, or if you'd like to see what I looked like a few years ago before I got all fat, here is the movie for you.

Even though it doesn't stand on its own very well and is perhaps not quite as funny as those of us in the video found ourselves at the time, I still like it. It has its moments, and it remains my only foray so far into the world of man-on-the-street prank videos. And, I think beneath the laughter there is an illuminating new perspective on the fascist jingoism of school spirit, and an important message for us all:

Stanford sucks.


Anonymous said...

You didn't get all fat. You aren't fat. God, you're like a girl now.
What happened?

lyan! said...

Kenny filled out. I was fat, and now am not, so it's a win-win!

Dr. M said...

The first dude you interview is wearing a Virginia hat, which I am going to take as a total shout-out.

Sarah said...

Both Stanford and Berkeley rejected me. But then Stanford offered me a job. Therefore: Berkeley sucks.

Sarah said...

Wow, y'all were assholes back then, weren't you?